Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rain, Rain, and More Rain- Homemade Chicken Stock

We are in day five of rain and I've heard no one complain. On the contrary, everyone seems to delight in it. We had a break in clouds for an hour yesterday afternoon and promptly sat on the porch with sunglasses on because even the filtered sunlight was too bright to our eyes after days of cloudiness. It was raining again by dinner time but we continued on the porch because the temperatures were so mild. Steve invited a co-worker over for scotch and a cigar. I brewed a nice pot of tea for his wife and myself and we sat by candlelight in the balmy night. The very same weather continues this way today with a heavy, rain soaked sky following the sound of pouring rain all night. It is the most peaceful, relaxing sound.

The only creature who seems to love this weather more than myself is our resident mockingbird. He perches in the tallest tree and sings his heart in an imploring aria that would move the staunchest, cold-hearted ogre. It's a beautiful song of which I will never tire. He's an annoying fellow on sunny days, singing much too early on summery Saturday mornings and chasing all the gentle birds from the yard. But, he makes up for his annoying personality with his singing in the rain today.

This is the season where summer co-mingles with fall. We have geraniums boldly blooming next to mums, cherry tomatoes and squash still producing while leaves begin to color and drop. I hope the season continues to change gently for our benefit. The potted geranium in the photo has done so well, I think I will bring it indoors for the winter. It will need to be pinched back so it doesn't become 'leggy', but after an ugly spell, it may bloom for us come January. That would be sweet, indeed.

What to do on all these rainy days? Well, there is always a ton of ironing. When that becomes too dull, there are good things to cook and Netflix movies to watch. Today I retrieved a post-cooked chicken carcass I had saved in the freezer for the purpose of boiling it into some nice chicken stock. To make a good stock is very simple: Put the chicken or turkey frame in a soup pot, add 2-3 bay leaves, 8 peppercorns, 2 ribs of celery chopped, and 1 onion quartered, plus a little salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Strain out all the solids and Voila! The best chicken broth. Once cooled, you can freeze it in pre-measured containers, ready to pop into your next soup recipe. It will yield about twelve cups.

Plastic Solo cups work best for freezing the stock, making it easier to remove the frozen stock from the cup. I tried foam cups and it made a mess.

I pop each cup of stock out of the plastic cup and into a freezer bag. Each frozen' cube' of stock measures one cup. This makes it handy when it's time to add stock to a recipe!


  1. I love the metal container you have the geraniums in. The geraniums look good - not leggy like mine!

    I haven't minded the rain too much, except for the time it takes me to get home in the afternoon. People around here drive like fools in the rain.

  2. A very handy way to freeze chicken stock, and also so simple.